My dog’s feet are red and swollen

Pododermatitis is an inflammatory condition of a dog’s feet that can be caused by many disorders, including infections, allergies, hormonal disorders, immune-mediated diseases and environmental contaminants.

Dogs affected by pododermatitis may have redness between the toes and foot pads, lick their feet excessively, have sore and swollen feet, and limp. The underlying cause of your dog’s pododermatitis can be identified with fungal cultures, skin scrapings, blood tests, hypoallergenic food trials, allergy testing, and bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity tests – depending on your pet’s specific needs.

Once a specific diagnosis is made, treatment can be directed towards the exact cause. If the pododermatitis has an allergic or immune-mediated cause, it is important to note that the condition will not be cured. In these cases, the therapeutic goal is to minimise the clinical signs and frequency of recurrences.

Most dogs respond well to therapy, and with some simple lifestyle adjustments, they go on to enjoy relatively normal lives.

* This article was extracted from The Sunday Times Pet Corner section, for the benefit of pet owners who do not subscribe to the paper.

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